Fukuoka, Japan

The Fukuoka Prefecture is vast and in total, this region has a population of more than five million, with both the cities of Fukuoka and Kitakyushu each being home to over one million inhabitants and amongst Japan’s biggest. Fukuoka has long been the most important city in the Kyushu region and contains plenty of sights to see and things to do, including a number of prominent sports stadiums, concert halls and even an impressive local baseball team, known locally as the Softbank Fukuoka Hawks.

Visitors staying in Fukuoka are advised to search out the local English-language magazine ‘Fukuoka Now’, which is a monthly guide to everything that is happening in the city and is available at the main tourist offices. Other useful publications include ‘Rainbow’, an events newsletter published by the Fukuoka International Association, and also ‘Fukuoka on Foot’, where a number of walking trails around the city are described in detail.


By Justin Tadlock on September 242007

The city is beautiful. It is nestled in between mountains, trees, and beaches. The people actually seemed surprisingly friendly too. Even though I like where I’m at in South Korea, I haven’t experienced this type of welcoming from Koreans. The city is clean. And, you must watch out for bicyclists! I’ve never seen so many bicycles in my life.

The driving on the left side of the road, walking on the left side of the sidewalk, and riding on the left side of the escalator felt odd though. Everything was expensive too. Subway rides were way overpriced. I quickly learned to get the all-day pass.

I almost felt a little at home. Everything was so Westernized, yet the city seemed to hold onto its Eastern roots. It felt like a good mix of different cultures.

Speaking of different cultures, I saw way more white people than I’ve seen in a while too. I can also definitely notice the difference between Korean and Japanese people. Before I moved to this side of the world, I couldn’t tell one Asian person apart from the other, as far as their nationality was concerned. I noticed a much more “exotic” look to the Japanese. People dress much differently too. Women wear way more revealing clothing from what I noticed. That’s probably due in large part to the Westernization of the culture.


Akira Ikemi (Profesor of Psychology University Kansai, Japan)

Profile:  Akira Ikemi

I grew up in the port of Kobe, Japan, which used to be the largest trading port in all of Asia. I grew up in an international community with kids from India, Philippines, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Korea, Indonesia, Germany, France, Belgium, Italy, Switzerland, United States of America, United Kingdom, Australia and more.  As I was growing up, I always wondered about how language affects our thinking, feeling and sense of self.

Saya besar di pelabuhan Kobe, Jepang, pelabuhan perdagangan terbesar di seluruh Asia. Saya tumbuh dalam komunitas internasional bersama dengan anak-anak dari India, Filipina, Hongkong, Taiwan, Korea, Indonesia, Jerman, Francis, Belgia, Italia, Switzerland, Amerika Serikat, Inggris, Australia dan lainnya. Seiiring pertambahan usia, saya selalu heran tentang bagaimana bahasa dapat mempengaruhi pemikiran, perasaan dan penilaian kita pada diri.

This led me to double major in psychology and philosophy at Boston College and then to study with Professor Eugene Gendlin, a philosopher and psychotherapist, at the University of Chicago, graduate school.  I continued to study Focusing and Focusing-Oriented Therapy, developed by Dr.Gendlin, trying to use it in my work as a psychologist at the psychosomatic unit of KitaKyushu Municipal Hospital (Kokura).  I went on and got a doctorate in medical sciences at the University of Occupational and Environmental Health, Japan (UOEH) where I was engaged in mind-body research, studying the physiology of meditative states, using Autogenic Training.

Ini mendorong saya pada dua ilmu dalam psikologi dan filosofi di Kampus Boston dan selanjutnya belajar bersama dengan profesor Eugene Gendlin, seorang filosofis dan psikoterapis, di Universitas Chicago, pascasarjana. Saya melanjutkan pendidikan mengenai Terapi Focusing dan Focusing Oriented, yang dikembangkan oleh Dr. Gendlin, berusaha menggunakan terapi ini dalam pekerjaan saya sebagai psikolog di Unit Psikosomatik Rumah Sakit Kitakyushu Municipal (Kokura). Saya melanjutkan pendidikan dan memperoleh gelar doktoral di Ilmu Kedokteran Universitas Kesehatan Lingkungan dan Pekerjaan, Jepang (University of Occupational and Enviromental Health) dimana saya melakukan penelitian mengenai pikiran-tubuh, mempelajari fisiologi dalam kondisi meditasi, menggunakan Autogenic Taining.

At UOEH I got involved in corporate mental health, a field that I continue to work in.  I got into full time teaching at UOEH, then at Okayama University, School of Education and then Kobe College.   During a decade at Kobe College, I met a lot of interesting colleagues and students, and served as  the Chair of the Psychology Department, and the Dean of Academic Affairs. During this time, I helped set up the Japan Focusing Association, and served as the Executive Director and later, President. In 2006 I moved to Kansai University in Osaka where I teach in the Graduate School of Professional Clinical Psychology.

I teach as adjunct faculty at Kobe College and Hyogo University of  Teacher Education.  I am a board member of the Japanese Association of Humanistic Psychology and the Japanese Society of Autogenic Training as well as members of several other professional organizations.  I also practice as a Focusing-Oriented Therapist privately and at an automobile corporation.

Di UOEH, saya bergabung di bagian kesehatan mental, dimana selanjutnya saya bekerja. Saya mengajar penuh di UOEH, setelah itu juga mengajar di Universitas Okayama, Sekolah Keguruan dan Akademi Kobe. Selama satu dekade di Akademi Kobe, saya bertemu banyak kolega dan mahasiswa yang menarik, dan menjabat sebagai Ketua jurusan Psikologi, da Dekan Bidang Pendidikan. Sekarang, saya membantu di  Japan Focusing Association dan menjabat sebagai Eksekutif Direktur, dan selanjutnya sebagai President. Pada tahun 2006, saya pindah ke Universitas Kansai d Osaka dimana saya mengajar di pascasarjana Profesi Psikologi Klinis. Saya mengajar sebagai asisten fakultas di Akademi Kobe dan Pendidikan Guru Universitas Hyogo. Saya anggota dari  Japanese Association of Humanistic Psychology dan the Japanese Society of Autogenic Training. Saya juga membuka praktek Focusing-Oriented Therapist sendiri dan bersama lembaga.